Friday, July 4, 2014

4th July 2014 - To Melbourne to change vans

After a lengthy stay back in Mackay where we sold most of our furniture and took the rest to join  our belongings in a storage shed, we headed out on the first leg of our journey to Melbourne.
We will take possession of our 5th van and our last.  This one has more comfortable seats and a diesel heater.
Our first night was at the Nogoa River in Emerald where we joined about 30 other vans and tents etc.
I always said we would never end up under the bridge drinking wine but here we are.
The next day as we headed toward St George we came across a sight very seldom seen these days.  Some body was droving about 200 head of yearling cattle along the sides of the road looking for food.  By the look of their camp and the number of horses I'd say they were taking them a fair distance. 


 Droving cattle overland has become a thing of the past as most cattle owners prefer the faster motorised method of shifting cattle.  After we passed through Diranbandi heading for Hebal passed through some of the most arid country we have seen for a long time.  Most of it not fit for man or beast.

We camped on the banks of the Maquarie River but where we were it was just a small stream.  Stuart handed me a small piece of trivia regarding this little trickle.  It ends up in the ocean somewhere in South Australia.
Nice spot for a morning

We were nearly at the Victorian border when we saw something very unique.  Stuart had been complaining about the head wind being so strong it was knocking around our fuel consumption when we saw a bird take off and was strugglingii to get height and flying as fast as it's wings would go but actually going backwards.  It had to drop almost to the ground to make any headway., We arrived at the caravan park on the outskirts of Melbourne on night 6 from Mackay and were very happy to be able to use the reverse cycle air for some warmth.  I was freezing.
Next morning we headed to the caravan sale room to check out our van and organise a pickup day and time as they still had to fit the inverter for Stuart to run his C-Pap machine.

The day finally arrived and we picked up our " New Age " caravan on Friday 27th June.  It's been a long time coming and I really look forward to the first time we turn on the heater, as with the temperatures down in single figures it's a bit cold.

That night we went to the local Irish Pub for a celebratory dinner and a pint of Guinness.  On arriving back at the caravan to gale force winds and about 6' Celsius with drizzling rain, the key that we used to lock the van wouldn't play the game and unlock it again.  After several tries, with both hands neither of us could get the key right in.  The only alternative was a motel stay for the night with no clean clothes, no tooth brushes, no jamas and no patience.  Next morning the caravan people rang back and told Stuart to put the key in the lock and tap it lightly with a hammer to get it all the way in.  When I looked at what he was doing he had a 4 pound hammer in his hand.  I said it isn't all that bad, don't go smashing the van up just because of the door catch, keep the hammer for the salesman when we go back on Monday - but it was the only one he had available and after a few taps the key was reseated and turned easily.

Interestingly enough I was telling Brett about it and he said that at a caravan park in Scarborough in Qld a few weeks ago there was a couple next door to them with a new van who had the same problem and after a night in a motel for them the dealership gave them the same advice and after a few taps with the hammer, they also gained entry to their van.

We tested out our diesel heater on our second night.  What luxury - what comfort - while outside it was about 4' inside it was a lovely 19' all night.
We woke up to a very foggy morning 2 of the 3 days spent at King Parrot Creek just south of Seymore in Victoria

That would be right...... the day we left the camp the sun came out.

We visited the towns of Yea and Seymore in mid Victoria and though it was cold and very little sun, enjoyed the drive.  Yea is a boutique type of town with lots of eating places and a few knicky knacky shopping places.
Scallop Crepes with mashed sweet potato and vegies - and of course a glass of wine.

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